7 Things Teachers Should Know About Your Child 

Summary: Read examples of what teachers find most helpful to know about your child as they begin the school year. 

Throughout the school year, a special connection develops between a teacher and their students. Day after day, they share together moments of learning, laughter, play, and overcoming obstacles. When a child faces a difficult day, it is often the teacher who provides comfort and motivation, similar to the encouragement a parent offers at home. And to better support students in their coursework, teachers take the time to understand each child individually, learning about their unique story, personality, strengths, and opportunities for growth.  

However, as class sizes grow, teachers may not be able to dedicate as much individualized time to each student as they would like. Which means this unique bond can take longer to form. In fact, the average student-to-teacher ratio in U.S. public schools is approximately 16 to one, with some states reporting a higher ratio, including Utah with 23 students to one teacher.  

Parents often choose homeschooling or online school, such as K12, for the personalized academic experiences they offer. However, no matter the school environment, parents can support their child’s learning by providing valuable insights with their teacher 

What should I share about my child with their teacher? 

We spoke with several teachers from traditional and online schools who have shared what they find helpful to know about their students. Here are some of their examples: 

  1. Does your child have a medical condition or diagnosis? You’ll need to inform your child’s teacher of any serious medical condition that may require intervention or medication, including allergies, asthma, and diabetes. You should also share if your child has been diagnosed with conditions that can impact their learning, behavior, or socialization, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or dyslexia. 
  1. Are there any specific family issues to be aware of? A major change at home, such as a big move, a new baby, divorce or separation, or death of a family member can impact your child’s behavior or attention in the classroom. If the teacher is aware, they can provide extra support and watch for behavioral or social changes. 
  1. Are there any somber anniversaries or significant events in your child’s life? If your child has experienced a traumatic event, such as death of a loved one, exposure to violence, or a natural disaster, tell the teacher. Knowing about the incident can help them be mindful when discussing related topics and sensitive to important dates.  
  1. What does your child excel in? Whether art, sports, or a particular academic subject, children need to be challenged to stay engaged in learning. Let the teacher know if your child is advanced in a subject or skill so the teacher can provide additional enrichment opportunities and fun activities.  
  1. Does your child struggle in a particular subject? If the teacher is aware of concepts that are challenging for your child, they can provide additional support to strengthen their confidence and knowledge in that subject.  
  1. How does your child learn best? Each child has their own unique learning style, and it can be beneficial for the teacher to know about your child’s preferred method—particularly if they’re struggling to understand a topic. Whether they like to delve into new tasks head-on or prefer to observe and understand first, this information can help the teacher understand how to incorporate their learning style when they need additional support.  
  1. Is there something at school they feel anxious about? Some learning opportunities can leave children feeling vulnerable and exposed, such as speaking in front of the classroom, reading out loud, or taking a test. Letting the teacher know of these types of fears and anxieties can help them alleviate stress and know when your child may need an extra boost of confidence. 

Remember, these are merely suggestions. There is no one else who knows your child quite like you do, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the teacher. You and the school have an important partnership in your child’s academic journey and overall well-being, and keeping your child and their needs central will help create a positive learning experience this next school year.  

If you’d like to learn more about the personalized academic experience offered at K12-powered online schools, go to K12.com. 

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